11. The bass growl and discordant piano at the beginning of “Raining Blood” betray it’s twilight zone peek at blue sky before it ever approaches the view itself. The piano sounds akin to the string roots of the dense “Bonnie & Clyde” backgrounds, and Tori is open-mouthed singing without ever really ending one word or beginning the next. The song comes off almost as a death march.
It is here that the concept of the album almost completely falls through… Tori’s perspective here is lost and you are stuck just hearing this as a song, and even that is a challenge. The piano slowly resolves into a more harmonic key, but the bass still menaces from the background as the song slowly becomes a parody of some sort of showtune musical lament… Tori mourning for her lost blue sky.
So, here we are again in Tori’s twilight world, and while she revels in it we are left wondering if there is even a point. This glance into her universe is so insular… so self-involved, that it is hard to do anything but be critical of it. At the same time, on other discs Tori rarely ever just gets her head down and plays, and this slow and deliberate take is entrancing as you let the reverby wailing carry you through.
It is these uncertain moments that unmake Strange Little Girls from a potential coherent success to a scattered narrative that shines through in bits and pieces. For every cohesive pairing of a song with voice and instrumentation – like the title track – there are these strange wandering moments that can be found in strange measures all over the album … Tori fighting to impose her narrative where there was none to begin with.
Sometimes it just isn’t there at all.